Legendary R&B singer and songwriter, Teddy Pendergrass died Jan. 13, at the Bryn Mawr Hospital in Philadelphia reports the Associated Press. He was 59.

His son, Teddy Pendergrass II told the Philadelphia Inquirer  that his father underwent colon surgery eight months ago and was going through a “difficult recovery”, but that his father would “live on through his music.”

Born in 1950, Pendergrass rose to the heights of fame with soulful tunes like 1979’s hit “Turn off the Lights”, and “Love T.K.O” in 1980.

He began his music career as the lead singer for the group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and launched his self-titled solo album in 1977. Tragedy struck the crooner in 1982 after an automobile accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, but Pendergrass continued to record music and eventually returned to the stage in 1985 for a Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.

In 1998 Pendergrass founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries.